10 Ways to Spread Kindness

written by: AUDREY CHANEY

February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day, and we’ve got a few ideas to help you participate! Going out of your way to be kind is something I think we could easily overcomplicate, but let me tell you, being kind doesn’t have to be extravagant. Continue reading below if you’re on the hunt for some fresh ways you can love on those around you!

kind: adj. of a sympathetic or helpful nature

1. bring a trash bag on a walk

Whether you’re going on a walk in the neighborhood or taking your kids to the local park, there is bound to be that miscellaneous piece of litter on the ground. Next time you venture out for a walk, take your kids on a bike ride or visit the park, make sure to grab a sack on your way out. Your neighbors and nature will thank you!

2. make a free flower stand

Speaking of walking, take a few minutes to spread a little happy to other walkers by making a handful of mini bouquets to set on a little stand in your front lawn or even on the sidewalk outside of a local business. If you’ve got a green thumb, you can grow your own cut flowers and periodically share them. If you don’t have the time or space to tend to a garden, next time you’re at your local florist or grocer, check for a couple of discounted bouquets, separate/trim the flowers, and spread the love! You can recycle your own glass jars, add a little ribbon, and you’re good to go!

3. leave a dollar hidden on the toy aisle

Let’s be honest, what kid doesn’t jump at the chance to buy a prize from the dollar store?! Next time you’re running errands, leave a dollar (or 2 or 3!) visibly hidden on the toy aisle, and you’ll be sure to make a kids day!

5. offer to take someone's photo

We’ve all been there — we’re out with friends, and you realize it’s the perfect photo-op. You have to either settle for a selfie or someone has to sacrifice not being in the photo in order to take the photo. Next time you see someone in this predicament, offer to take the photo for them!

4. send a handwritten letter

Is there a family member or friend that you haven’t talked to in a while? In this digital, fast paced and social media driven age, the sentiment of a simple, handwritten letter would be such a pleasant surprise. I’ve never not smiled or even teared up when receiving a well thought out, heartfelt letter from a loved one. We all need a little extra boost every now and then!

6. pay a mom a compliment

Here’s a personal story for ya! The other day, I was out grocery shopping, and when you’re a family of 5, your cart ends up being pretty full when it’s all said and done. My older two boys happened to be with me, so I put them to work at the check out line loading groceries onto the conveyer belt. They were not the most willing participants, but let’s face it, part of being a mom is making your kids do hard things, right? There was a more seasoned couple behind us in line who could probably tell I was a bit frazzled, and I’ll never forget what the sweet lady said to us — “You boys sure do have a great mom! You’ve got this, mama. You’re doing an amazing job. Enjoy it because it goes by way too fast!”. I don’t know her name and may never even see her again, but I cannot tell you what an encouragement that was to me to persevere through those hard motherhood moments. I made a mental note to myself to do the same next time I’m out and about when I see a mom trying to do her very best.

7. take a meal to a family with a newborn

Speaking of parenting, what mom doesn’t appreciate a night off of cooking? Do you have a mom friend who has just given birth? A home cooked meal or even a door dash gift card would be such a huge help. After welcoming 3 kiddos into the world, I will never forget the generosity of family and friends through the provision of meals for weeks on end. We felt so supported when receiving nutritious meals, and it gave us the ability to solely focus on our new bundle of joy while adjusting to a new season of life without the pressure of meal planning and cooking.

8. pay for coffee for the person behind you

Whether you’re in the drive thru at Starbucks or hanging out at your local coffee shop, there is sure to be a steady flow of customers coming through. Next time you’re in line, tell the barista you’d like to pay for the coffee of the person behind you. You never know what someone is going through, and the serendipity of such a thoughtful deed could be just what that person needed to get their day started off right!

9. leave a quarter in the gumball machine

There’s something nostalgic about a classic gumball machine, am I right? It can be pretty disappointing when you look in your coin stash to purchase said gum, and tragically, there isn’t a quarter to be found. Add kids to the mix, and the frustration intensifies all the more. Next time you come across a gumball machine, spread a little sunshine by taking a quick second to add a quarter into the machine for the next passerby. Don’t forget to get yourself one too — happy chewing!

10. watch your friends kids for free

After becoming a parent, it can be extremely hard for couples to prioritize date nights. I can’t think of a more fantastic way to serve a friend by offering to watch their kids for free for a night. If you want to go above and beyond, volunteer to feed the kids and put them to bed as well! It would give the parents such peace of mind knowing their youngsters are in good hands and would relieve them of the pressure to feel like they have to rush back home. Thanks to you, they’ll feel extremely refreshed after a night out of reconnecting with one another!

So what’d ya think — did one of these ideas stand out to you? We can’t wait to hear how you participate in Random Acts of Kindness Day on the 17th! Make sure to tag us on social media @glopals if you participate, but don’t forget, every day is a great day to be kind!

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